Commemoration a focus of this year’s ANZAC Day Schools’ Awards

THE 2021 ANZAC Day Schools’ Awards are now open, encouraging students to learn about Veteran service and Australian wartime history by asking the question: “What does commemoration look like in your community?’

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the awards looked to honour the service and sacrifice of Australians across a range of conflicts and peacekeeping operations and encouraged students to find out more about our military history.

“This year students are being asked to look at the importance of commemoration to local communities and how that has changed over time in our society,” Mr Chester said.

“With the cancellation of many ANZAC Day services around Australia and overseas last year, we saw the Australian community adapt and commemorate ANZAC Day at home — painting poppies and placing them in windows of houses, school children writing letters to our elderly veterans in aged care facilities, music tributes, current serving members calling veterans to check in, and solitary driveway tributes.

“The awards encourage the next generation of Australians to study and gain a deeper understanding of Australia’s wartime history — from the First World War to modern day conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

“Initiatives like the ANZAC Day Schools’ Awards help ensure that as Australia’s future generations grow up, they recognise and respect the sacrifice of all who have served in the protection of our country and way of life.

“I encourage all schools across Australia to take part in this competition and I look forward to seeing this year’s entries showcasing how our local communities commemorate the service and sacrifice of our servicemen and women.”

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is proud to host the 2021 ANZAC Day Schools’ Awards, recognising the commitment of students, teachers and schools to engage with veterans and honour Australia’s wartime history.

The national winner’s school will receive $5000, a trophy and a certificate. There will also be state and territory winners, with the schools receiving $3000 and a certificate. Winners in the special categories will receive $2000 and a certificate.

Entries for the Awards are now open and will close on Wednesday, 30 June 2021. For further information, including on award categories, judging, criteria and how to apply visit the Anzac Portal website –


Students are being asked to look at the importance of commemoration to local communities and how that has changed over time in our society, such as during last year’s COVID lockdown. Photo: Ross Swanborough